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Don’t Delay

I’m taking a meditation class that focuses on a mind/body connection. The woman who teaches it is my acupuncturist, and we’ve formed an unlikely friendship. She is a calm, quiet, gentle soul. I’m a lot of things, much I think is really good, but calm and quiet definitely elude me and I have to work really hard at gentle. I can learn a lot from her in many areas, but maybe there is something there that she needs from me too.

We are both deep thinkers. Thinker. It brings to mind old men in crumpled corduroy jackets with worn suede elbow patches, contemplating deep philosophical and moral issues as they rub their fingers through the their coarse unwieldy salt and pepper beards. I sit with a sarcastic quip just beneath my tongue and a too-short edgy haircut that is yet again a weird color because I refuse to pay professional to cover the gray that reminds me that I’m not nearly as young as I feel pondering my big question of whether or not I should give up and go au naturale. Thinker – it is not a category I ever imagined pulling up a chair to, but somehow a search for deeper meaning found me.

Perhaps when our twins died, a light switched on, one at first glance glowed into a chaotic, disheveled space, but also revealed the beginnings of something very unusual, much bigger than me. I honed into that moment for a really long time, but the natural course of healing and time brought the mundane to the surface once again.

Lately I’ve been living in the dust and clutter and the day-to-day bullshit that clogs my mind and threatens to strip me of gratitude. I’m not sure how it happens, and why or how I manage to stay focused for extended periods of time on what is truly important and then maniacally skew off course?

Everything counts.

We talked about that in the meditation class last week. It hit me hard. I sat there and thought about all things I did to prepare for the things I really wanted to do… Wiping off counters, driving, getting dressed, sometimes even walking outdoors, definitely exercise, chatter with my family, cooking evening meals. It’s exhausting. Suddenly I felt like the “worthwhile” minutes could be captured on a stopwatch.

I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out how to stretch my time… Just give me one more hour, ok, maybe two. But what about the 24 hours I have in front of me every day that fly by with barely an acknowledgement?

I experienced profound gratitude after our twins died. This state of being didn’t arrive until I decided to remain on this earth, and all of the collective moments leading me to that space were like ripping off a Band-Aid to reveal a wound that wasn’t quite healed, but needed the fresh air to completely mend. Every breeze that passed over, felt prickly and different, but somehow refreshing and new. Mundane conversations held significance because I remembered that a few weeks prior I had been contemplating the end.

I made a conscious decision to stay here, coupled with learning about life and death on an intense personal plane shifted my thought patterns forever and opened the doors to deeper thinking. People can’t live in a constant state of grief, but I think it’s time to call upon a little bit of that gratitude. Perhaps that is what it means to acknowledge that everything counts. And, that mindfulness has been what was missing from my life as I rushed to get everything “important” done.

I don’t know about this life gig. Most of the time it seems frenetic, and I feel like I’m never going to make it all work in the time I have. But the one thing that I do know – at least this morning, is that if I don’t stop on occasion and truly take in what is around me, it may pass me by before I think I have time to sit down and really enjoy it.

Today, not tomorrow, I will revel in what is good. The rest will pass through me like sand leaking from a burlap sack long forgotten after an emergency levee fortification. Light fills the space where sand once threatened to hold me down.

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